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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 6 May, 2002, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
IAAF sets strict standards
The winners of the Golden League in 2001
The Golden League attracts the best in the world
Venues hoping to showcase prestigious Golden League athletics meetings will have to meet strict conditions, the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) has announced.

The IAAF is to reduce the number of meetings from seven to five as of next year, meaning at least two of the current venues will be axed.

With others, including possibly Britain, also hoping to join the bidding process, the venues will have to pass certain criteria.

I am confident we will receive applications from existing meetings and from those aspiring to join
IAAF president Lamine Diack

President Lamine Diack said: "We believe it is important that the IAAF Golden League represents the best quality of one-day athletics meetings.

"Although details of the application letter we expect to receive from potential organisers remain confidential, I can confirm that the IAAF is looking for guarantees regarding financial security and TV coverage.

"To qualify for IAAF Golden League status we will demand a minimum organisational budget, including a guarantee for athletes' prize money.

"It is important to ensure that the Golden League is a real promotional tool for our sport, and we expect coverage - on free-to-air television - not just of the host country's meeting, but of the circuit as a whole."

An artists impression of the doomed Picketts Lock
Picketts Lock would have been a perfect stage for the Golden League
The IAAF is known to prefer big city capitals as Golden League hosts.

It is already known that Monaco, scheduled to stage the next two IAAF Grand Prix finals, will not be a contestant.

That leaves Berlin, Brussels, Oslo Paris, Rome and Zurich of the current venues in the running - along with any newcomers.

But any hope of Britain staging one of the five meetings appears unlikely.

The British Grand Prix takes place at a rundown Crystal Palace stadium in south east London.

Oslo doubt

And the country faces major problems in convincing that it has the facilities or even the organisation to host a high profile Golden League event.

The debacles over the redevelopment of Wembley and the building of a new athletics stadium at Picketts Lock are unlikely to help.

Oslo, for so many years the scene of the highly successful Bislett Games, also faces problems.

The renowned stadium in the Norwegian capital is due to be re-built, leaving Oslo without a suitable arena.

Although Berlin is currently in the hands of the receivers, it is unlikely the IAAF would consider axing them.

It is understood Berlin's new organisational team has assured the world governing body they can sustain the meeting for the foreseeable future.

The IAAF will decide by the end of this month who are to be the hosts of the five meetings each year for 2003-2005.

See also:

10 Oct 01 |  BBC Pundits
Build us a national stadium
30 Apr 02 |  Athletics
Krabbe receives IAAF settlement
14 Apr 02 |  Athletics
Helsinki replaces London
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